In the latest PredictWise/Pollfish poll there is widespread optimism on President-elect Trump’s ability to fighting ISIS, but very conflicting opinions about the tactics he may use, under the banner of that fight in the United States. There is strong opposition to registering the religion of US citizens, an idea that Trump has floated for Muslims. But, on a group level, Trump voters support extra surveillance of Muslim community centers and mosques, while Clinton voters oppose such a move. There is also division on holding terrorism suspects indefinitely without trial: strong support among Trump voters and strong opposition among Clinton voters.
“How do you feel about US registering religion of citizens?” This would involve targeting individual citizens who have no other reason for increased scrutiny. And, both Trump and Clinton voters are weary of this. With 48% of Trump voters and 82% of Clinton voters opposing it, and 39% of Trump voters and 9% of Clinton voters supporting it. This is not overwhelming opposition for Trump voters, but even being ambivalent is a strong signal on this issue with Clinton voters overwhelming opposition.
“Should Muslim community centers and mosques receive extra surveillance?” This is a more general, group oriented, level of scrutiny and has more divided support. Trump voters are very strong supporters, with 76% supporting and just 17% opposing. While, Clinton voters overwhelmingly oppose, with just 26% supporting and 62% opposing.
Trump and Clinton voters do not want citizens to register religion, but Trump supporters want to provide extra surveillance of Muslims.
“Should US be able to hold terrorism suspects indefinitely without trial?” This is a controversial measure in regard to both United States and international law. Trump voters support this with 70% approval and just 21% opposition. Clinton voters reject this with just 30% approval and just 53% opposition.
Only Trump voters want to hold terrorism suspects indefinitely without trial.
As a form of comparison, we also asked about Jews along with Muslims: “Should Jewish community centers and synagogues receive extra surveillance?” Trump voters are relatively supportive of extra surveillance for Jews. Trump voters support this with 41% approval and 47% opposition. Clinton voters reject this with 22% approval and 61% opposition. This is something we suspect Trump, with a Jewish daughter and grandchildren, would likely oppose?
Trump voters are somewhat supportive of extra surveillance of Jews, along with Muslims.
Trump voters are optimistic that he can defeat ISIS by the end of the first term, but Clinton voters overwhelmingly pessimistic. 57 percent of Trump voters believe it will happen, but 83 percent of Clinton voters do not. Interestingly, 46 percent of Clinton voters actually support Trump's ISIS policy to just 34 percent opposing it. So, Clinton voters may feel that the fight against ISIS is just a long-haul that no one can defeat easily.
Tobias Konitzer is a PhD candidate in communication at Stanford University. Find him on Twitter @KonitzerTobias.
Sam Corbett-Davies is a PhD candidate at Stanford University in computer science. Find him on Twitter @scorbettdavies.
David Rothschild is an economist at Microsoft Research. Find him on Twitter @DavMicRot.